Crisis over F1 tyre safety
Severe tyre blowouts suffered by four drivers at last weekend’s Silverstone GP have left drivers and teams concerned over the safety of the sport.
Silverstone is known as a particularly demanding circuit that’s tough on tyres, but tyre failures are amongst some of the most lethal car failures for F1 drivers.
Lewis Hamilton has called for action to be taken after the tyre failures, which he’s described as ‘unacceptable’, and 13-time Grand Prix winner, David Coulthard, has taken a similar stance, calling the tyre failures ‘driver killers’.
Pirelli has issued a statement which attributes the failure of the tyres to the practices of the F1 teams themselves.
In order to better manage tyre wear and limit pit stops, teams have been removing worn tyres and later mounting them on the opposite side of the car.
This, Pirellis has said, is largely responsible for the blowouts, which only occurred on cars with tyres fitted on the opposite side.
Despite this, Pirelli will be making changes ahead of next week’s race at the Nurburgring, changing the internal belt – which is usually made from steel – to Kevlar.
The fear over the safety of the tyres occurs just two weeks after Pirelli and Mercedes sparked controversy for their mid-season tyre testing, after Red Bull and Ferrari racing teams brought the legality of the tyre development into question.
High demand for Ford Fiesta ST
It looks as though Ford have got things right with their new Ford Fiesta ST.
The waiting list for the sporty new hatchback currently stands at 3 months, after unexpected interest catches production off guard.
In fact, over half of Ford’s annual production of Fiesta STs was sold within just 3 months of the car’s official launch date.
Powered by an impressive 178bhp turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol, with sporty and subtly-aggressive looks, it’s not so difficult to see why people are snapping them up.
But it’s not all about the aesthetics.
At £16,995, the Fiesta ST is also one of this year’s cheapest hatchbacks – that’s around £2,000 less than its main rival, the Renaultsport Clio 200, which went on sale back in June.
New world land speed record set
Driving an electric Le Mans prototype racer at an average speed of more than 200mph, Lord Paul Drayson has set a new land speed record for a ‘sub-1000kg electric car’.
, recorded a top speed of 204.285mph, smashing the previously held record of 175mph.
With a top speed of 204.185mph, the former Minister of Science, businessman and amateur racing driver smashed the previously-held record of 175mph.
“I’m delighted we’ve beaten the record tonight and can show the world electric vehicles can be fast and reliable,’ said Drayson, who you can see in action below…
Car engines are complicated pieces of engineering, so there could be a whole host of issues responsible for preventing your car from starting when you put the key in the ignition.
But some engine problems occur more frequently than others, so let’s take a look at the 7 most common causes of engine failure, and find out why your engine isn’t turning over.
1. Fuel pump failure
Fuel pumps are responsible for supplying the injectors with pressurised fuel which aids combustion, but their failure is one of the most common reasons for a non-starting engine.
Fuel pump failure can occur at any time, but running a car on less than ¼ of a tank of petrol for extended periods – or running out of fuel entirely – can cause premature damage.
2. Clogged fuel filter
Fuel filters can clog, so they should be replaced every 12,000 miles or so.
If you have a clogged or dirty fuel filter, the fuel may not be able to reach the engine, which prevents the engine from starting.
3. A problem with the timing belt
The timing belt (or cam belt) is the toothed rubber belt that connects the crankshaft to the camshaft. It controls the engine timing and makes sure that the valves and pistons don’t collide when the engine is in motion.
Over time, timing belts are prone to wear and can fail, causing the engine to operate out of sync. Owner’s manuals might disagree about how often a timing belt needs to be changed, but you should really check and replace one after covering somewhere in the region of 60,000 to 100,000 miles.
4. The battery’s dead
Car batteries are like any other kind of battery: they don’t last forever. They can fail and be drained of power if the cars lights or radio are left on while the car isn’t running, or if the car hasn’t been used for a while.
5. …or it’s corroded
Battery corrosion typically occurs when there are loose connections on the battery terminals, or when gases from inside the battery escape (whether though faulty or cracked battery caps or punctures in the battery itself).
Electrical resistance develops as the corrosion builds up, but by removing the negative and then positive terminals from the battery, the corrosion can be scrubbed away with a stiff brush.
6. Electrical problems
Even small fluctuations in voltage can cause damage to the engine’s computerised controls, and poor electrical connections could also be responsible for an engine failing to start, so they should be checked to make sure they’re not loose.
7. Distributor cap
Since the distributor cap carries voltage it can become worn, clogged and dirty, and prevent the engine from turning over.
Check your distributor cap for cracks, signs of fire damage or a build-up of dirt. It may need cleaning or replacing entirely.
José Froilán González dies, aged 90
Argentine Formula 1 driver, José Froilán González – the man behind Ferrari’s very first Formula 1 victory – has died this week, aged 90.
The son of a car dealer, González was born in Buenos Aires on October 5th, 1922, and travelled to Europe in 1949 to begin his racing career for Maserati.
A year after his championship debut at the Monoco Grand Prix in 1950, González (pictured above) had switched allegiance to Ferrari and powered his 375 F1 to victory at Silverstone in 1951, crossing the finish line to the applause of over 50,000 spectators.
Current Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has said, “Over all these years, he was always very attached to Ferrari and, as a driver and a man, he played an integral part in our history. His death means we have lost a true friend.”
BMW 4 Series Coupe